Such are the stories that come with age and experience. Walls is no spring chicken anymore, and songs like “The Artists in the Wrong World” have the benefit of perspective, of looking back. They also have the benefit of a lifetime of playing around with the song form, and so while you’re often expecting standard verse-chorus-verse-bridge, there are enough minor deviations to keep you interested.
That also means they can be pretty touchy-feely. “Halley’s Comet,” full of tambourine in the right channel, echoing backing vocals, and lots of splash cymbal late, is rife with foundational sentiment: “This is the place for me.” Same with “Sleeper,” which has its own echoing piece — “I’m not alone/ I am alone” — and closes with a somewhat mysterious repetition of “I don’t want to celebrate the Fourth of July yet.”
That’s what this album is about, though. Those life demarcations: weddings, funerals, holidays, meetings, and departures.
Like “Goodnight, Portland,” the most rock piece here, with a killer opening — “she’s just a first-draft drinker/ Who penned a paperback” — and a finish dripping with atmosphere and kick drum. The chiming electric guitar in the middle is like a second-hand ticking off time as rounds come and go at the bar, people and places come and go through your life.
And, as Walls puts it, “that’s better than anything on the radio/ That’s better than anything underground.”
Euston | Released by An Overnight Low | with Worried Well + Field Effect | at Empire, in Portland |www.soundcloud.com/anovernightlow